We had a special treat today. The Brekky Show got to chat to our dear friend Jodii Maquire – on a Tuesday! Jodii Maguire from Think! Performance Psychology usually joins us fortnightly on a Thursday, but the poor thing was so unwell last we weren’t able to. On the back of the Bryant memorial service, Jodii wanted to speak some truth into grief. So she pulled herself up by her boots and managed to get on air.
Death, dying and the surrounding emotions are not something we sit down at the dinner table and talk about openly. Not until we’re confronted by it in some way, shape or form. So it’s important to think about the concept because it varies so much from person to person or situation to situation. As sadly, we’re all going to encounter grief at some point in our lives.
Myths about grief
There are so many myths surrounding grief and “normal” behaviour surrounding it.
It has an endpoint
Grief doesn’t necessarily have an endpoint. Again, it’s different for all of us. We all have different coping styles and different relationships to the person we’re grieving. Just because we stop feeling grief or it lessens for us, doesn’t mean it lessens for others.
Getting stuck in your grief
Maybe we’re still crying a lot, or still talking about a person a lot, along time after they’re gone. Maybe we keep items of theirs or keep a lot of photos close by or carry them with us – this doesn’t mean we’re stuck. This is our own way of expressing gratitude, grief and love for the person we’ve lost.
Different genders process it differently
Sometimes we hear that men don’t want to talk about their emotions when they’re grieving. Or we hear that women feel grief more deeply. This is a myth. Men can feel it as deeply but want to talk about it differently. So there is no gender link to the way we feel grief.
Kids are resilient to it
Just because our kids stop talking about it or maybe they haven’t talked about it all, doesn’t mean they’re not feeling or that they’ve already processed or dealt with it. Some kids will use avoidance or silence, some use over talk as their tactic. This is often said to provide comfort to ourselves or to be able to give an answer to others. So let’s not fool ourselves and think “kids are resilient, we don’t need to worry about them” in these situations.
If you or someone you love are struggling with issues related to mental health, contact the friendly people at Lifeline to speak to someone one-on-one – it’s available 24/7 – on 13 11 14.